Blago Brother Wants Say in Jackson Ethics Case - NBC Chicago
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Blago Brother Wants Say in Jackson Ethics Case



    Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s brother says he is ready to testify.

    But not in court. And not on Capitol Hill.

    Robert Blagojevich says he has written to the House Committee on Ethics, offering information about Rep. Jesse Jackson’s effort to be appointed by then-Governor Blagojevich to President Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

    "I think he’s got some hard questions to answer along those lines, that he was either not asked, or avoided being in the position to answer," Blagojevich said.

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    During the first Blagojevich trial, where Robert was a co-defendant, he testified that he was approached twice by members of Chicago’s Indian-American community, offering as much as $6 million for the Blagojevich campaign, if Jackson was appointed to the Obama senate seat.

    Blagojevich testified he rejected those overtures.

    "Both of the individuals who came to me were very earnest, representing Congressman Jackson,"  he said. "And I believed they were coming because of his prompting."

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    The Ethics Committee recently revived a dormant investigation of the Jackson matter, and Blagojevich says he wrote to each member of the committee, offering to provide testimony.

    Jackson has denied wrongdoing, and was never charged in the Senate affair. Blagojevich and his brother, former governor Rod Blagojevich were both charged.

    While Rod Blagojevich was convicted on a single count in that trial, and 17 counts at a subsequent trial, charges against Robert were dismissed after he offered compelling testimony that he had done nothing wrong.

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    "I was the one approached, and I was the one who told them this is not going to happen,” he said, referring to the Indian businessmen who came to him on Jackson’s behalf. “Somehow at the end of the day, I’m the guy that’s having to testify and defend himself against charges that stems from that approach.”

    "There’s a measure of fairness that still remains to be settled. And I believe that Congressman Jackson has some tough questions that he should be forced to answer under oath."